May 29, 2020
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Holy Family,
During these weeks of pandemic, which have merged with our Lenten and Easter observances, we have journeyed together and stayed strong as a community of faith, albeit a virtual one. I know I am not alone in feeling that the learning curve of the pandemic has been, and continues to be, very steep for all of us. In this time of great struggle, we celebrate the graces that we have experienced, which remind us of the enduring presence of God among us.
Thank you for sharing in Mass online and for the many affirming comments that have been offered. While the physical distance was felt, the celebration of the faithful was deeply communal. Our other endeavors to continue our mission have been led by our ministries, by prayer, through daily communication, and by the outreach of our Giving Bank, which is providing food and assistance to the growing number of households in financial crisis. All of this is made possible by your generosity, which has enabled our parish to remain open in the most vital of ways.
Now, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic, as little by little restrictions are lifted. As most of you know by now, LA County has announced that churches and other places of worship could begin offering services this coming Sunday. Archbishop Gomez announced the same day that our Catholic churches could begin to open on June 3rd for daily Mass and on June 7th for Sunday Mass.
We are excited to share with you that it will not be long before we begin to gather for Mass in-person. We are also cautious, because of our concern for you, our parishioners, as well as for our priests and staff.
PREPARING TO REOPEN HOLY FAMILY CHURCH
After having met extensively with our priests and staff over the last few days, our parish has begun the extremely complex process of preparing to reopen. This involves ensuring that we comply not only with the Archdiocesan guidelines, but also with the guidance and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
At this time, out of the preeminent desire to ensure the health and wellbeing of parishioners, priests and staff, we are not yet ready to announce a date when we will open the Church for in-person Mass. We will announce the date of reopening as soon as we are confident that we can open safely.
I know that many of you will be disappointed by this news, but please know that we do not take this decision lightly, and it arises out of our love and concern for you. The last thing that we would ever want is to endanger any of you, or to do anything that would risk spreading the virus.
THE NEW NORMAL OF MASS ATTENDANCE
It’s important to know that when you do come back to Church, just as anywhere else in the public realm, you will find a new normal for Mass attendance, which will include the following:
- No more than 100 people may attend Mass in the Church.
- Face masks must be worn by everyone entering the Church, except for children under 2, those with impaired breathing or other at-risk conditions.
- You will be asked to sanitize your hands before entering the Church.
- You will be asked to confirm that you do not have a cough, a fever, a sore throat or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- There will be new entrance and exit procedures as well as new procedures to receive communion.
MASS SCHEDULE AND LIVESTREAMING
We know that, while some of us are more than ready to gather for Mass again, others of us are not yet ready to be present, and, indeed, should not be present. For this reason, we have no plans to change the current livestreaming Mass schedule, even after we reopen. We will continue to livestream daily Mass at 8:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and weekend Masses on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
We urge those of you who fall into the high-risk category to continue to participate in the Mass by livestreaming, even after we reopen.
It goes without saying that you should not attend Mass if you feel at all unwell.
The general dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
As of June 3rd, we will begin offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you would like to receive the Sacrament, and have a priest hear your confession, please call the Pastoral Center to set up an appointment with one of our priests, who will meet with you in the Pastoral Center.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION (BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION AND EUCHARIST)
We will shortly begin scheduling the Sacraments of Initiation for adults and children who had been preparing for Easter sacraments but have gone without reception into the Church due to the pandemic, as well as for infants. These celebrations must adhere to the new parish guidelines and policies.
WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND QUINCEAÑERAS
We will shortly begin scheduling Weddings, Funerals and Quinceañeras. These celebrations must adhere to the new parish guidelines and policies.
HOLY FAMILY BOOKSTORE
The Bookstore is now open for in-store shopping by appointment only. Please call ahead to reserve a time. Curbside pick-up and shipping are still available. The Bookstore can be reached at (626) 403-6133.
There are obviously a great many other details that need to be worked out. I will be giving you regular updates as our plan to reopen unfolds.
We ask for your patience and your prayers so that we might proceed with the utmost care and prudence. Our love and prayers are with each one of you. We belong to one another as family, and we are moving forward in such a way to ensure that you are as safe and protected as possible.
I am happy to answer any questions or address concerns you might have. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (626) 403-6110.
With gratitude for your prayers and understanding,
Parish Life Director